About This Place
Celebrities and sun are always out in full force in Los Angeles. Beautiful beaches, famous Hollywood actors, cutting-edge development and some of the most eclectic neighborhoods found in the world, make for no shortage of things to do in Los Angeles. The second-largest city in the U.S. prides itself in its rich ethnic diversity, and LA is a top destination for foodies and travelers wishing to experience a wide array of world cultures and dining—all in a single stop.
Downtown Los Angeles is seeing a large-scale revival highlighted by the opening of the first phase of the $2.5-billion entertainment complex, LA Live, in October 2007. With the 2009 completion of the second and third phases, downtown now boasts a 40,000-square-foot, open-air Nokia Plaza, a 54-story Marriott-owned hotel and a $100 million movie theatre with 14 screens and seating for over 3,500 moviegoers. Future expansion projects include the construction of Farmer’s Field, a state-of-the-art stadium with an estimated price tag of more than $1 billion—all in hopes of luring the NFL back to the City of Angels.
Area restaurants continue to rival the best in the country, enticing hungry visitors with the city’s delicious Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Thai and Latin-American cuisine. Popular outposts by celebrity chefs Rick Bayless and Gordon Ramsay consistently up the ante when it comes to cooking: Bayless’ Red O in West Hollywood tempts diners with a Mexican raw bar offering a variety of ceviches and fresh seafood-like oysters and tuna; and Ramsay dishes out contemporary classics, such as steak tartine, at the London West Hollywood.
Getting outdoors is a must for every itinerary. Whether you’re browsing the racks at boutiques Confederacy or Y-Que in the hip enclaves of Silver Lake and Los Feliz, or spending the afternoon at one of two dozen nearby beaches, Los Angeles’s temperate climate makes it easy to spend entire afternoons outside. Point Dume, north of Malibu, offers a respite from snarled traffic jams and Hollywood egos with its quiet beach and hideaway atmosphere. Tall cliffs and rocky coves provide a breathtaking panorama, and beachgoers relaxing between the months of December and April shouldn’t be surprised if they catch a glimpse of a California gray whale or two in the Pacific’s waters.
No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a stroll among the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See tributes to the likes of Lucille Ball, Muhammad Ali and Matt Damon, then take the 20-minute walking tour of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If you fail to have a real run-in with your favorite actor or actress, Madame Tussaud’s has the next-best thing: life-like wax sculptures of Hollywood’s most famous stars. Snap a photo next to Denzel Washington, Clark Gabel or Johnny Depp, and fool your friends and loved ones back home with your unforgettable Hollywood encounters.